FMLA for adult child

I have an employee with a 28 year old son that is going to have back surgery. She is requesting FMLA because she says he will be incapable of self-care for about 8 weeks. He is over the 18 year old guideline but would she be entitled because this may be considered a serious health condition?


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  • This is a very gray area of the law because it depends in part on whether the employee's son is considered disabled under the ADA. The FMLA regulations say that employees may take leave to care for an adult child who is both disabled under the ADA and incapable of self-care.

    Before Congress amended the ADA in 2008, employees were rarely able to meet these requirements. However, the 2008 ADA Amendments Act so dramatically expanded the definition of a disability that it would not be unusual for a person who is undergoing back surgery to be considered disabled.

    I recently wrote an article about this issue for the monthly FMLA newsletter, [I]FMLA Compliance Bulletin[/I]. I am not sure whether you have access to that newsletter on HR Hero or HR Laws, but I would be happy to get you a copy of the article. It looks like I can't attach documents to a private message via this site, but if you give me your email (via private message if you want), I can send it to you that way.

  • Julie, Thank you for the reply. It was very helpful.
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